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TimeGate: "Companies 100% focused on retail are in for a rude awakening"

Digital distribution will reach critical mass - and retail-only data isn't representative of industry's health

The online distribution critical mass is coming, claims TimeGate Studios boss Adel Chaveleh.

"It's just a matter of time," the CEO of the Section 8, Kohan and FEAR expansions developer told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview published today.

"I think anybody would bet money on that. The momentum of online is only going to pick up, there's so many reasons for it to go that way."

On the many doom and gloom stories that have dogged the games industry of late, he echoed recent sentiments by the likes of the NPD group that retail figures were not painting the complete picture.

"I think somebody would be a fool to just look exclusively at that data to see how the interactive industry is doing. With social and mobile and everything else that's blowing up now, you can't look at just that sliver."

When asked as to whether publishers in general seemed ready for that shift, he claimed that "I think a lot of people are... It's on everybody's radar. But it probably was in the music industry too.

"So I can't say for sure what their internal strategies are, I can only see from a consumer's perspective where their focuses are, and it's clearly still at retail."

Referring to the rise of Netflix against the decline of traditional movie rental chains, he felt that "companies that are 100 per cent focused on retail right now are in for a rude awakening in the near future."

Chaveleh also perceived a trend in publishers' attitudes towards their titles. "It's a cyclical thing, where the big publishers say 'oh we're going to do nothing but internal development' and there's a big new IP push.

"Then a couple of big flops happen there, so they say they're getting out of internal development, shutting down studios, and then that yields the next round of start-up companies, because there are all these people who got laid off.

"Then they're making new IPs, there's a couple of big hits so everyone's into that again."

For the full interview with Adel Chaveleh, in which he discusses why TimeGate has moved into self-publishing, the importance of making games the studio wants to make rather than to keep the lights on, and the risks of both independence and publishing partnerships, please click here.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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